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County Council is still out of pocket by almost €7m for post-storm clean-ups

March 22nd, 2018 7:15 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The County Council has incurred high costs for cleaning up after last year's storms. Deana Hurley's photo of Castle Bernard in Bandon was taken after Siberian weather hit Ireland a few weeks ago. The Council hasn't yet estimated the cost of cleaning up after the ‘Beast from the East' or Storm Emma.

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CORK County Council has been left €6.7m short by the government, for the cost of cleaning up after storms since 2012 – and that’s even before last week’s Storm Emma and the Beast from the East.

Cllr Des O’Grady (SF) sought a report into the amounts requested by the Council and the amounts received from central government to deal with storm and flood damage from 2012 up until the aftermath of Storm Ophelia last October.

They showed that the total amount sought by Cork County Council was €27,296,3983 but the Government had only given the Council €20,600,813. 

The largest amount sought by the Council was in 2015 following Storms Desmond, Eve and Frank  where they requested €16.395m but only received €12.483m from the government.

Cllr O’Grady said this deficit of €6.7m over five years is having a huge knock-on effect on the Council’s budgets and called on Cork County Council to write to central government and ‘demand the money be paid up in full.’

His colleague Cllr Rachel McCarthy supported his call to write to the Department to recoup the money.

‘We are being criticised by motorists for the state of roads but we are not getting enough funding from central government, which is causing deficit to our budgets,’ said Cllr McCarthy.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said that in all his 30 years of service in politics he has yet to see any application going to the Department end up getting the full amount.

Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said it was a clear trend that ‘they only get 60% of what they look for.’

Chief executive Tim Lucey said the Council was out of pocket and pointed out that we will have more weather events which will be a ‘strain on finances’.

‘It’s not good that we’re not fully funded,’ said Mr Lucey.

Cllr O’Grady suggested that this matter should be followed up with all city and county managers who should put pressure on the government to ensure councils receive the funding to make up the shortfall.

The figures were revealed before West Cork was hit by the recent Storm Emma and the Siberian ‘beast’.

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